By Rieva Lesonsky

Once again underscoring the cliché, “Everything old is new again,” Hula Hoops are apparently a hot item, both as a toy, an exercise device–and a fashion accessory. The New York Times recently reported that no less a fashion icon than Karl Lagerfeld “introduced [a] ridiculously oversize Hula-Hoop beach bag at a Chanel runway [fashion] show in October. Chanel is going to offer smaller versions of the bag in retail stores. (It is worth clicking on the link to see the picture of the beach bag.)

But the Hula Hoop, first used in ancient Egypt and introduced to America’s youth as a fun toy in 1957, has spawned exercise classes, high-end re-tooling including a goatskin-covered hoop, and yes, small businesses. There are more than a few businesses that teach the fine art of Hula-Hooping, mostly as a fun, yet effective form of exercise.

Several years ago I meet the founder of Hoopnotica, a Venice, California-based fitness company. Hoopnotica sells Hula Hoops and accessories. They also offer videos showing the numerous ways the hoops can get and keep you fit. The company also trains and certifies hundreds of instructors every year to teach what they call “hoop dance.” Hoopnotica’s revenues are over $1 million.

The Times reports an outbreak of “hoop jams,” where devotees are groovin’ with their hoops to music, and “hoop breaks,” where employees are working out with their hoops twice a day for 15 minutes.

All this is not to push you to start a Hula Hoop-related business, but to remind you that inspiration is everywhere. Keep your mind open-the possibilities are truly limitless.

And as a special bonus, if this has piqued your interest in Hula-Hooping, Hoopnotica is generously offering a 10 percent discount to Trendcast and SmallBizDaily readers. Go to and use the code “SMALLBIZ.” Discount expires Sunday, December 9, 2012.